In the history-rich region of North Warwickshire, England, lies an impressive structure known as the Astley Castle. It is described as more of a fortified mansion than an actual castle, but it is no less impressive. Originally owned by the Astley family in the 12th century, it wasn't until 1266 that the license was granted to fortify the residence with a moat and stone exterior. The building itself endured centuries of being beaten by the elements and even suffered a devastating fire, which caused some of its exterior to collapse. However, the building has more recently undergone some renovations and the results are astounding.
From the outside it is easy to see how much of the building had to be replaced through renovations, a lot of the main building is structurally different.
After Sir William Astley died in 1420, the house was left to his daughter, who was married into the Grey family.
Sir William’s daughter married Reginald Grey, 3rd Baron Grey de Ruthyn in 1415, and his family controlled much of the borderlands between England and Wales.
Much of what appears to be the ancient castle ruins is actually from when the Grey family rebuilt the home in 1555, as well as other periodic additions.
The house acted as a stronghold during the English Civil War.
During the 1960s, the property actually became a hotel.
While the hotel was in operation, it was mostly destroyed by a fire that occurred in 1978.
The fire destroyed so much of the building that it was hard to find much use for the remains.
The property subsequently went up for sale, but it was hard to find a buyer with everything in shambles.
With it not being used and a lack of any interest from others, the burned-down building further deteriorated without the necessary care.
In the early 2000s, a plan was made to help restore the building to its former glory.
With the help of the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England, commonly known as English Heritage, the new owners set out with a round of unusual renovations.
The Landmark Trust also played a critical role in planning the restorations that eventually won the 2013 RIBA Stirling prize for excellence in architecture.
The restoration project finished in 2012 and stays can be booked through The Landmark Trust’s website.
As you can see for yourself, the results are quite stunning.
Credit: The Little Things | The Landmark Trust